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Study Outside at a Local Park

February 14, 2023
Photo of Vic Tysgan

If there’s one thing you can count on Vic Tsygan ’23 for, it’s being an advocate for going out into nature and visiting local parks.

“Parks are such a good area for me. You can be outside and you can have a good time,” she says.

The Human Resource Management major started visiting parks more often during her junior year. She became friends with another YCP student who enjoys doing outdoor activities, and this prompted Vic to follow suit.

“I like to go to parks with friends,” she explains. “Junior year I became friends with Patrick Trostle and he is a very outdoorsy person, and we started going to more parks and doing more hikes and things in nature together.”

This was an eye-opening experience, Vic says, because she realized just how many opportunities there are to get outside and go to parks, especially in York. Her favorite spots to visit in the area are Farquhar Park, Penn Park, and Lake Redman.

“It's a place where you can go feel like a kid again. You can feel young, you can run around and no one's going to judge you for doing that. It's a park,” she says.

According to the Parks and Recreation page of the York County website, the York County Parks Department manages 11 parks spanning more than 4,300 acres.

In addition to hiking and other outdoor activities, the Parks Department is active in recreational programming. Events include Maple Sugaring Days at the Nixon County Park Nature Center; a summer Nature Discovery Camp for children ages 5-13 (and volunteer opportunities for those 14 and older) at Nixon, Kain, and Rocky Ridge Parks; and a Christmas Magic Festival of Lights show at Rocky Ridge Park.

Vic’s favorite things to do in a park include picnics, people-watching, hiking, and relaxing in any available gazebos. There are a multitude of activities for everyone, she stresses.

“If you like dogs, lots of people bring their dogs. It's a really nice place to go with a friend. It's a unique first date . . . the picnic in the park,” she adds. “Right now, everything's so focused on being digital. It's nice to have a designated space to just step back, unplug and yet still be connected to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”

In addition to visiting parks herself, Vic encourages others to do the same. The benefits are rewarding, she says.

“I just think that parks are underrated, and especially in York. I don't think a lot of people talk about all the different options that you have,” she says. “There are some really cool opportunities. Wherever you go, I don't think you can make a wrong choice.”